Green Bean Casserole – an updated version of the classic holiday side dish. This casserole is full of fresh beans, mushrooms, and a homemade sauce.
Green Bean Casserole is one of those quintessential Thanksgiving side dishes that always had a place on the holiday table when I was growing up. Over the years, I’ve certainly had my share of green bean casseroles made with condensed soup and frozen green beans. So, this recipe updates the classic by using fresh flavors.
This is a from-scratch recipe made with fresh ingredients. The green beans are crisp and the mushrooms are meaty. And the sauce is light but full of flavor.
The green beans are the star of this casserole. They are fresh, blanched briefly, and shocked in cold water to retain their bright green color. I like the green beans to still have some crispness after the casserole is baked, so a quick blanching is all that is needed.
For the mushrooms, I like using a combination of cremini (baby bellas) and shitake mushrooms. They provide a hearty meatiness in the casserole that you simply don’t get from cream of mushroom soup. I saute the fresh mushrooms in butter until tender and caramelized.
For the sauce, I have replaced the condensed soup with a from-scratch version. There’s just enough sauce to coat the beans and mushrooms, not drown them. The sauce starts with a roux, which is a mixture of equal parts butter and flour used to thicken sauces and soups. For the roux, I brown the butter before incorporating the flour. Brown butter has a nuttiness to it which adds another layer of flavor. Chicken broth is the base of this sauce, but a splash of cream gives it a richness without being thick and heavy. The addition of fresh thyme pairs nicely with the mushrooms and fresh herbs always brighten a dish.
Lastly, I like topping this casserole with french fried onion rings – a nod to the traditional recipe of my childhood. The crunch provides a nice contrast of texture and they are delicious.
If green bean casserole typically has a place on your holiday table, I hope you try this fresh, from-scratch version. It will not disappoint.
Other Thanksgiving side dishes you may enjoy
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms like cremini or shitake or a mixture
- 12 ounces fresh green beans
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- crispy french fried onions for garnish
- In a skillet set over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and add in mushrooms. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and add the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook until the butter turns a rich brown color. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to incorporate. Let the roux cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking to incorporate. Simmer to thicken the sauce. Add in the heavy cream, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer the green beans and mushrooms in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top. The casserole can either be baked immediately or refrigerated to bake at a later time.
To Bake Immediately
- Bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and top with french fried onions. Refrigerate leftovers.
To Bake Later
- Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with french fried onions. Refrigerate leftovers.